Game 1: Bateman 93 vs Abby Traditional 67
Sharp-shooting Titans can’t beat Timberwolves
The Abby Tradition Titans sank fifteen three-pointers despite a suffocating Bateman defence, yet still fell 93-67 to the ‘Wolves.
The Titans led at times in the first half, and trailed only 38-36 at halftime. Sniper Amrit Sidhu scored nine of his 18 points in the half as Abby swished their way into Bateman nightmares. Of the 23 points the Titans scored in the first quarter, only two came from inside the three-point line.
Still, the Timberwolves’ size, strength and depth began to show in the second half as Bateman’s Nate Friesen (22 points) punished the Titans on the fast break. Scoring a number of baskets on second and third opportunities, the Timberwolves relied on the inside presence of Austen Zacher and Hardeep Sidhu to out-rebound the smaller Titans. Friesen and Callum McDonald picked up the stretch layups for Bateman, and Abby simply couldn’t keep up.
The Titans can shoot the lights out. Unfortunately, they don’t have a long enough bench to keep those shooters fresh.
The Timberwolves are showing why they are an honourable mention in the Double-A rankings this season with a sweet mix of size and speed. Grade 10 Callum McDonald has serious potential for his age.
Game 2: MEI 91 vs. Abby Christian 45
Allison explodes for Eagles against Abby Christian
The MEI Eagles may have been a little deflated after yesterday’s 67-64 loss to the Rick Hansen Hurricanes, but that didn’t stop Eagles point guard Nate Allison from putting up a second consecutive 30-point performance.
The Eagles cruised to a 10-point lead early over the Abby Christian Knights and didn’t look back, despite some feisty play from Knight forward Linden Vanderpol. Characteristically tall, Abby Christian enjoyed strong performances from S. Goertzen (12 points) and J. Van Dorp (10 points).
Joel Sinclair had 17 points for the Eagles.
Van Dorp and Sinclair were named the players of the game.
Who scores 30 points two nights in a row? Nathan Allison, that’s who. Huge credit to the best player on the floor today, and his sweet stroke.
Game 3: Abby Senior 90 vs. Hansen 68
Abby is better, but Hansen is darn good.
The Abby Senior Panthers look very promising this season behind the dual play-making threats of Moeiz Athaya and Chase Claypool. Few teams are going to be able to match their athleticism, and fewer still will have the court IQ the Panthers showcased tonight against the Hansen Hurricanes.
Not that the Hurricanes are pushovers by any means. A classic Hansen squad, every player on the roster is a solid baller able to complement the overall team. The team is so balanced that coach Lynden Friesen is able to run two ‘platoons’ of five players apiece without sacrificing any performance on the court.
The Triple-A first-ranked Panthers looked unsteady in the first quarter, and lost Chase Claypool early after two quick fouls. Athaya and Hurricane Joban Pandher traded baskets for their respective teams in a kind of one-on-one hoop duel, but it was the collective Abby press, rather than an individual performance, that helped the Panthers climb back into the contest.
Hansen is an honourable mention in the Triple-A standings, mostly because of a terrific, fluctuating back-court that can play its way out of almost any situation. What the Hurricanes lack is a front-court with the type of energy exhibited by Pandher, and (at least tonight) the ability to finish at the rim.
The Hurricanes left points on the floor all night long, following up beautiful finishes with missed layups in numbers that could have changed the final outcome. Hansen couldn’t stop Athaya from collecting 32 points, but their Swiss army knife of an offence also created significant opportunity. Pandher finished with 11 points, while teammate Balkar Sidhu hit four threes (including three in the third quarter) for 12 points.
The Panthers received a remarkable performance from Jordan Goheen, who hooked up with Jordan Fox (his quarterback on the football gridiron) to produce 12 points himself.
Athaya and Pandher were named the players of the game.
The Athaya, Claypool, Goheen, Fox connection is unbelievable. This reporter couldn’t swing his head fast enough to keep up with the passing, and it was this four-part combo that really put the game away in the third quarter.
Hansen looks like they’ve been playing basketball together for the last century. The team’s real strength is that almost any player can play any position. Everybody can dribble, everybody can pass, everybody can create beauty on the court!
Game 4: Mouat 71 vs. Yale 64
Gritty Hawks down injured Lions
In a game that was more energy than finesse, it was Mouat Hawks who scrambled away with the victory. The 71-64 defeat of the Yale Lions wasn’t elegant by any means, but both teams showed serious heart as they battled beneath the boards, on the boards, in the corners, at half-court… and just about everywhere else. There were possibly more turnovers than points in this rematch of last year’s city tournament final, but that just made it all the more entertaining for the boisterous crowd.
The Lions unleashed Terry Kwon to hound Mouat sharpshooter Jazz Singh with badger-like tenacity. Indeed, Buntsen saw more of Singh’s face than the ball during the game as he face-guarded his mark through three quarters of play. It wasn’t until the fourth that Singh got loose and hit two threes in quick succession to widen Mouat’s lead in the final minutes. Until that point the teams had been nearly neck-and-neck.
Bereft of star guard Jaquin Bennett-Boire (injured), the Lions relied on Riley Braich as their offensive weapon of choice. Braich scored 33 points during the game, while Tamikah Otanga had 14 and forward Mike Vanderwerff contributed 10.
Singh had 29 points for the Hawks, while Jordan Sekhon had 13 (all in the third quarter).
Braich and Hawk point guard Jimmy Litt were named the players of the game.
It doesn’t happen very often that a basketball can change possession four times without touching the rim, but it happened multiple times in this game. At times the play resembled a football scrum, with a tangle of limbs in mid-court completely obscuring the ball.
Riley Braich was the best local player on the floor today. Can anybody, I mean anybody, stop him?